Monday, 5 March 2012

What a girl wears

If you're interested in this topic, read this article at the Toronto Star today.

The gist of it is that a boy wrote an essay and then distributed it at school. It was a letter to girls about inner beauty versus outer beauty. Here are a couple samples:

He praised “the silent ones, the intelligent ones, the ones that don’t talk about people behind their backs, the ones that guys don’t flock to in droves, the ones that don’t dress in revealing clothing..."

"Attractiveness doesn’t come from wearing the latest fashion, and it doesn’t come from being scantily clad in public, or putting on makeup, or having a pretty face, or a nice body. No. Real attractiveness comes from having a certain dignity.”

What really struck me was the title of the Star Article "The Birth of the Controlling Man." Apparently, this type of opinion would only come from a man who wants to control women by telling them what to wear and how to act.

Granted, I haven't read the entire essay (it wasn't available). But personally, I think girls need to hear something like this. As a teen girl, I don't think I ever really understood what revealing clothing does to the brain of a teenage boy. I think that, while we were looking for attention from the opposite sex, and wanting to be attractive, we weren't after the raw lust that that kind of clothing can actually evoke. And this is the real point here - I think a lot of girls just don't understand the difference between a teenage boy's brain and a teenage girl's brain.

If I have a daughter (TBD!), this is the point I would drive home when it comes to choosing clothing. And as I do already have three sons, I just hope that in the classroom environment they will be able to focus and concentrate a little on the lesson and not on short skirts and low cut tank tops.

At any rate, the author of the article in the Star is a woman, and as a woman myself, I thought she completely misinterpreted or misunderstood the boy's thoughts. When a boy stands up for modesty and tells girls that he finds them attractive without the revealing clothing, girls might actually listen. Sometimes the only way a teen will actually hear what is being said is when another teen is saying it. And since media seems to be pushing the opposite point of view, it's nice to hear someone speaking out for modesty. And I don't think it was controlling in the least.

(If you're interested on more on this topic, Shaunti Feldman wrote a great book called "For Women Only" and also one called "For Girls Only" that dissects her surveys and research into the different ways men and women think, especially when it comes to being "visual")

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